June 28, 2006

GUEST BLOG ENTRY

This writer has invited several people to write a guest blog entry on any item they will would be of interest and importance to Yelm & vicinity. Bill Hashim penned this byline, reprinted in its entirety:

Last year about this time I had the opportunity to address Yelms city council. Since Yelm is facing growing pains I had offered to write a grant that would provide free Smart Growth technical help for the city. Council members were appalled that I thought Yelms growth was not smart, and as they were bantering at me I heard one of their voices wanting to know whether I thought they were dumb. I left the meeting wondering what the heck just happened and then I realized that our council members were not aware of the sustainable communities program called Smart Growth. I suspect they are still not aware of Smart Growth principles, or if they are, dont care about a sustainable future for Yelm.

There is a better way to build Yelm. Sustainable development is a philosophy, a way of thinking, and a way of looking at growth through a different set of eyes. Sustainable development is a way of using an evolving set of principles and practices to make decisions that minimize negative environmental impacts while ensuring positive social and economic benefits. Our city council has a responsibility, as community leaders and decision-makers, to create a more livable world for ourselves and our children.

Sustainable development has taken on a variety of meanings, yet one interpretation is generally accepted: Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable development in action aims to minimize negative environmental impacts while ensuring positive social and economic benefits. Sustainable development fosters economic growth without sacrificing the natural resource assets of the community. It promotes community investments, providing returns for investors as well as social and economic benefits for residents. And it encourages meaningful community participation, leadership, and ownership in the decision-making process. Truly sustainable actions and decisions are those that enhance environmental integrity, economic prosperity, and community livability.

Environmental integrity is the protection and improvement of the air, water, and land that all living things depend on for survival. It means not only doing no harm to the environment, but actually enhancing the environment through our development decisions.

Economic prosperity enhances community well being by attracting residential, commercial, and industrial development and encouraging all sectors of the economy to use sustainable practices.

Community livability refers to how we plan, build, and rebuild our communities so that they are vibrant, desirable places that enhance all residents’ quality of life and the social fabric. It means that all of our residents have access to public transportation, job training and employment, and housing that is within economic reach.

These three principles are interrelated – a project that achieves one or two of these elements at the expense of another is not sustainable. Truly sustainable development includes all of the elements and enhances the long term quality of life in our communities.

Using these definitions, readers of this blog will see that Yelm is on a fast track for failure. It is not too late, but we will need to rid ourselves of an ignorant, uncompromising city council; a city council that caters to moneyed interest at the expense of community members. [Ed. Note: Without changing the way things are currently done, our future generations will suffer from the consequences of decisions today. Our job as area residents is to continue to be active participants in our government and to remind our city leaders that the citizens’ and voters’ desires come first, over corporate and single-minded economic development just for growth’s sake – a view limited by blinders. As an example, all of the proponents of the LID were leaders of corporate entities, all of whom do not live here. The opponents were the “little people”, the local voter. HMMM! The LID was approved by this city council.]

Bill Hashim


June 27, 2006

SECOND DAY IN A ROW OF HIGH TEMPERATURES

Monday, June 26, 2006 Olympia Municipal Airport recorded a high of 93 degrees (34 C.) breaking the old record of 90 degrees (32 C.) set in 1987.
Olympia Airport is the neareast National Weather Service reporting station to Yelm, 18 miles away.


June 26, 2006

YELM CITY COUNCIL APPROVES AQUIFER STUDY

Observation:
The Yelm City Council has publicly stated on several occasions that
private, for-profit developments are going to be mitigated only with private money.
What does this means to us, the citizens?
This means the city will not allow use of public monies to support private developers’ responsibilities
in creating their own private businesses.

Here is the Fact:
On June 14, 2006, the Yelm City Council approved public money in a $155,000 payment to Golder Associates for the SW Yelm Aquifer Study Project to examine water issues as they relate to the proposed, privately owned Thurston Highlands site.

Questions:
In approving the aquifer study, did the City Council favor
the proposed Thurston Highlands private development by using public monies?

If the answer is YES, then would you say the city’s stand that
“private for-profit developments being mitigated only with private money” is jeopardized by this action?

If that is the case, then is the City Council starting off “on the wrong foot” in keeping private and public issues
separate about Thurston Highlands and other developments?

Bottom Line:
Public taxpayer monies are being used to support a private-development’s Environment Impact Statement (EIS) via this Aquifer Study. What do you think about that? Please leave your comments…


June 25, 2006

RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE TODAY

A record high was noted officially at Olympia Municipal Airport today.


June 25, 2006

PRESIDENT BUSH ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER; LIMITS USE OF EMINENT DOMAIN

“President George W. Bush issued an executive order on Friday [June 23] to limit the U.S. government from taking private property only for the benefit of other private interests, like corporations. The order came exactly a year after a divided Supreme Court ruled a city could take a person’s home or business for a development project to revitalize a depressed local economy, a practice known as eminent domain. ‘The federal government is going to limit its own use of eminent domain so that it won’t be used for purely economic development purposes,’ White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said,” quoting Reuters.
President Bush’s “Executive Order: Protecting the Property Rights of the American People.”


June 25, 2006

SUMMER PAVING JOB WILL AFFECT SR 510 TRAFFIC

“A $1.2 million project that provides for improvements on an existing 9.95 mile section of State Route 510 between Sitka Street SE near Lacey and 93rd Avenue SE in Yelm (mileposts 4.50 – 14.46) has begun. This project includes removal of miscellaneous existing traffic items, pavement repair, planing of bituminous (chip sealed) pavement, paving with hot-mix asphalt, adjustment of catch basins, grate inlets, and junction boxes, and guardrail and permanent signing installation. Work on the section of SR 510 between Old Pacific Highway and the boundary to the Nisqually Indian Reservation (mileposts 6.26 – 9.84) also includes installation of centerline rumble strips and recessed pavement markers. Work has just begun, and is scheduled for completion in early August 2006. For the week of June 26, motorists can expect daily alternating single-lane traffic control with a pilot car eastbound and westbound SR 510 throughout the project limits for pavement repairs Monday through Thursday, June 26-29. Work hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Work conducted in the signalized intersection at Muk-Set-Wei Drive will require the traffic signal to be set to flash and flagged traffic control. This work is weather dependent,” quoting the WSDOT website link.


June 23, 2006

LIBRARY PARTNERS WITH VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT

Timberland Regional Library (TRL), as an official partner of the Library of Congress, invites you to join in an important national projectthe Veterans History Project. The mission of the national project is to collect the memories and accounts of American war veterans, and to preserve these stories of experience and service for future generations. TRLs first emphasis will be on World War II. The project honors our nations war veterans and those who served in support of them. Trained volunteers will create a lasting legacy by interviewing veterans and other citizens, chronicling their wartime experiences and how those experiences affected their lives and America itself. TRL is the first public library in Washington State to become an official partner in the project. During the first years of its participation, TRL is focusing on World War II veterans and civilians with World War II experiences, as they are the elders of our national heritage and we are in danger of losing their stories. Help keep the stories of “The Greatest Generation” alive. To do this, we need VOLUNTEERS, quoting the TRL website.


June 21, 2006

YELM PLANNING COMMISSION OPEN HOUSE 6/29

“The City of Yelm, with the assistance of the Thurston Regional Planning Council, is updating the Yelm Comprehensive Plan to ensure consistency with the Growth Management Act. The proposed amendments will include updated population projections, an updated housing inventory, and other changes to address new provisions of the GMA have been proposed to ensure the Comprehensive Plan is consistent with the Washington State Growth Management Act.
The Yelm Planning Commission is sponsoring an open house to provide the public an opportunity to review proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan, prior to the public hearing, and to answer questions about the update. The open house is scheduled for Thursday, June 29, 2006, from 4:00 PM 7:00 PM in the City Council Chambers at City Hall located at 105 Yelm Avenue West. The Planning Commission and City staff will be on hand to answer questions,” quoting the City of Yelm website.

Spread the word as this meeting is where the public can interact with officials on how the City plans for the future. This writer encourages everyone to read the proposed Updates to the Yelm Comprehensive Plan prior to this meeting. click here, then click “Comprehensive Plan Update”, then click “Proposed Updates to the Yelm Comprehensive Plan” and print.


June 21, 2006

IS REP. ADAM SMITH NOW OWNED BY CORPORATIONS?

Looks like Rep. Adam Smith has become “corporate-friendly” and forgotten his voters back home:

1. “The First Amendment of the Internet the governing principle of net neutrality, which prevents telecommunications corporations from rigging the web so it is easier to visit sites that pay for preferential treatment took a blow from the House of Representatives Thursday [June 8]. Bowing to an intense lobbying campaign that spent tens of millions of dollars and held out the promise of hefty campaign contributions for those members who did the bidding of interested firms the House voted 321 to 101 for the disingenuously-named Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE). That bill, which does not include meaningful network-neutrality protections creates an opening that powerful telephone and cable companies hope to exploit by expanding their reach while doing away with requirements that they maintain a level playing field for access to Internet sites… Illinois Democrat Melissa Bean, who frequently splits with her party on issues of interest to corporate donors, voted with the Republican leadership, as did corporate-friendly “New Democrats” such as Alabama’s Artur Davis, Washington’s Adam Smith and Wisconsin’s Ron Kind all co-chairs of the Democratic Leadership Council-tied House New Democrat Coalition,” quoting The Nation. […corporate-friendly “New Democrats”??? Looks like this writer needs to re-examine Rep. Smith’s stands, as I have always been one of his supporters and voters.].

2. “When a NASCAR racetrack opens in Kitsap County, the obligatory ribbon-cutting ceremony will draw a lot of dignitaries who claim some credit for fathering the attraction. But you and I will know the real fathers. You can read their names on the board of directors list of Americas Car Museum, the LeMay. NASCARs track-building victory in Washington will spring more than any other factor from the relationships, strategy and leverage behind the LeMay. Whenever have you heard of two busy congressmen flying home for their Memorial Day break to testify before a committee of state legislators? That happened May 31 when Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, and Rep. Adam Smith, D-Tacoma, showed up in Seattle for the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations. Both endorsed the $345 million International Speedway Corp. racetrack in rural Kitsap County. Both also serve as honorary members of the LeMay board of directors. So does James France, CEO and vice chairman of International Speedway Corp. The France family founded and owns 100 percent of NASCAR,” quoting the Tacoma News Tribune.

Mr. Smith, you are abandoning your people back home in the Pacific Northwest for corporate interests! Hello?!

Please email Rep. Smith and let him know how you feel about these recent turn of events.


June 20, 2006

NISQUALLY RIVER FOUNDATION’S 1ST STEWARDSHIP AWARD

The Nisqually River Council Foundation unveiled the Nisqually Watershed Stewardship Plan and vision for the next 50 years at a Fundraiser in Seattle Monday, June 19th.
Former Governor Dan Evans was instrumental in his vision to preserve and protect this State’s treasure 35 years ago and led to the creation of the jewel we have today. He presented the 1st Award for Stewardship of the Nisqually Watershed to Nisqually Tribal Elder Billy Frank, Jr.
The City of Yelm is at the center of the Watershed, is the largest city within its area and has the most ambitious expansions plans that could potentially affect the health of the river. The potential for 8,000 + homes in Yelm within the next 10 years was of great concern and was highlighted.
Yelm had strong representation with Councilwoman Pat Fetterly, the City’s representative to the Nisqually River Council (NRC) along with representatives of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce, JZK, Inc., Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment and the Nisqually Valley News[see Friday’s NVN for the full story].
David Troutt is chairman of the Nisqually River Council and penned his experiences working toward this goal for The Olympian.
The NRC is accepting donations and/or volunteers now, so won’t you consider sending a tax-deductible check to preserve
this vital resource for the future and that of our children?


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